Five types of wild fruit trees in Texas include Pecan Trees, Persimmon Trees, Hackberry Trees, Chokecherry Trees and Blackberry and Raspberry Bushes.
Wild fruit trees in Texas are an abundance of natural riches that are often overlooked. These trees and bushes, which grow wild and free, produce a variety of delicious fruits that are not only healthy but also packed with flavor.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the most common types of wild fruit trees in Texas, where to find them, and how to harvest and use them.
Pecan Trees are a staple wild fruit tree in Texas, known for their large and delicious nuts. The trees can grow up to 100 feet tall and have a wide canopy that provides shade in the summer.
The nuts are encased in a thick, hard shell that is difficult to crack, but the effort is well worth it as the nut inside is rich, buttery, and delicious.
Pecan Trees are commonly found in East, Central, and North Texas, with most of the commercial pecan production happening in the central and eastern regions of the state. They grow well in sandy or clay soils and thrive in areas with long, hot summers and mild winters.
Harvesting pecans can be a bit of a challenge, as the nuts are encased in a thick, hard shell that can be difficult to crack. The best time to harvest pecans is in the fall, usually between October and December. The nuts should be picked up from the ground as soon as they fall from the tree.
They can also be harvested by shaking the tree and catching the nuts in a tarp. Once harvested, the nuts should be dried in the sun for a few days before being cracked open.
Pecans can be used in a variety of ways, from baking them into pies, cakes, and cookies to incorporating them into savory dishes. They can also be eaten raw or roasted as a snack. Pecans are also rich in healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.
[Related Article: 10 Types Of Wild Fruit Trees In Missouri]
Persimmon Trees are a type of wild fruit tree that is native to Texas. They are deciduous trees that can grow up to 50 feet tall and have a round, spreading canopy.
The leaves are glossy green and the tree produces small, yellow-green flowers in the spring. The fruit is a round, orange-red berry that ripens in the fall and is about the size of a large cherry.
Persimmon Trees are commonly found in woodlands, along creeks and rivers, and in other moist areas in Texas. They are also commonly found in East Texas, and are often found near other types of wild fruit trees such as pecan and hackberry trees.
To harvest persimmons, you should wait until the fruit is fully ripe, which is when it is deep orange in color and slightly soft to the touch. You can pick the fruit off the tree or gently shake the branches to loosen the fruit.
It is important to note that unripe persimmons are extremely astringent and will make your mouth pucker, so be sure to wait until they are fully ripe.
Once harvested, persimmons can be eaten fresh, or they can be used in a variety of recipes such as pies, jams, and jellies. They can also be dried or frozen for later use. Persimmons are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and antioxidants. So, if you are looking to add a new wild fruit to your diet, persimmons are a great option to consider.
Hackberry Trees, also known as sugarberry or nettle tree, are a common sight in Texas. They can grow up to 50 feet tall and have a straight trunk with a rough, scaly bark.
The leaves are glossy green and the tree produces small, greenish-white flowers that turn into clusters of small, red berries in the fall. These berries are the hackberries, which are edible and have a sweet, tangy flavor.
Hackberry Trees are commonly found throughout Texas, including in woodlands, along riverbanks, and in parks and gardens. They are hardy trees that can tolerate a wide range of soil types and conditions.
To harvest hackberries, simply wait until the berries turn red in the fall and then pluck them off the tree. They can be eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, and pies.
Hackberries can also be dried and ground into a powder, which can be used as a sweetener or added to baking recipes. The tree bark and leaves are also used for medicinal purposes by some people.
Chokecherry Trees are a type of wild fruit tree that can be found in many parts of Texas. They are deciduous trees that can grow up to 15 feet tall and are often found along riverbanks, in open woodlands, and in rocky hillsides.
The leaves of the chokecherry tree are glossy and dark green, while the bark is dark brown and rough to the touch.
The fruit of the chokecherry tree is a small, round, dark red berry that grows in clusters. These berries are typically ripe in late summer and early fall, and are high in antioxidants and vitamins.
Yet, the fruit is known for its high levels of cyanide compounds, which makes it extremely bitter and astringent, and it must be properly processed before consumption.
To harvest chokecherries, it’s best to wait until the fruit is fully ripe, which is usually in late summer or early fall. The fruit can be picked by hand or with a fruit picker.
Once harvested, the fruit should be washed and then cooked to remove the bitter and astringent taste. Chokecherries can be used to make jams, jellies, syrups, and wine. They can also be dried and used to make tea or added to baking recipes.
When harvesting chokecherries, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to only pick fruit from trees that are not near highways or other sources of pollution.
Also, be sure to only take what you need and leave enough for wildlife and future harvests. With proper harvesting and preparation, chokecherries can be a delicious and healthy addition to any wildcrafter’s menu.
Blackberry and Raspberry Bushes
Blackberry and Raspberry Bushes are a common sight in Texas, and they are often found growing wild in wooded areas, along roadsides, and in open fields.
These bushes produce a variety of delicious, juicy berries that are packed with flavor and nutritional value. Blackberries are typically larger and sweeter than raspberries, and they have a slightly tart taste.
Raspberries, on the other hand, are smaller and have a more delicate flavor. Both berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
In Texas, blackberry and raspberry bushes are commonly found in the eastern and central regions of the state, but they can also be found in other parts of the state as well. They typically grow best in areas with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight.
Harvesting blackberries and raspberries is relatively easy and can be done by hand or with a berry rake. The best time to harvest is when the berries are fully ripe and have turned a deep red or black color.
When picking, be sure to leave some berries on the bush to ensure that the plants continue to produce.
In conclusion, wild fruit trees in Texas offer a wealth of delicious and healthy options for those who are willing to explore and harvest them.
From pecans and persimmons to hackberries and chokecherries, these trees and bushes are a natural treasure trove of flavor and nutrition.
Whether you’re a seasoned wildcrafter or a novice looking to try something new, we encourage you to get out there and explore the wild fruit trees in Texas. Not only will you be able to enjoy some truly delicious fruits, but you’ll also be able to connect with nature in a new and exciting way.
So, grab a basket and a pair of gloves, and head out to discover the wild fruit trees in Texas!